Friday, September 4, 2009

Greetings From Moab, UT - The Apache Motel & Other Scenic Sights

Let’s visit the friendly and beautiful Red-Rock city of Moab, located near Arches National Park in southern Utah. My family and I were lucky enough to spend some time here this past summer, and we enjoyed ourselves thoroughly.

Here’s Main Street, back in the early 60’s:

And the same scene on a warm August afternoon in 2009:

Moab embraces its role as a hub for tourism and has many lodging choices to offer the weary traveler. A perfect example is the Apache Motel, which is:

Quiet off highway. Luxury 32 ultra modern units, TV, Pool, Playground, Air Cond. Delightful Restaurant. “Western Hospitality in the heart of the Canyonlands”

Tradition and value are honored at the Apache, where the large arrow-sign is still stuck firmly in the pavement out front.

According to the motel’s website, The DUKE stayed here…Wow!

The pool is still in good shape, and those old-style metal umbrellas are probably the same ones that shaded Mr. Wayne when he relaxed at poolside…

Signs on (and off) of Main Street direct traffic to the Apache, which is located on a quiet looking street away from the heart of town.

Even at night, the Apache beckons:

I’m sure that John Wayne loved neighboring Arches National Park and all of its scenic wonders, including Balancing Rock:

Landscape Arch as well...

If the Apache is all booked up, perhaps the Rustic Inn or the Virginian Motel have a room available:

The Best Western Canyonlands was home to my family and I during our stay, and we heartily recommend this excellent motel to anyone planning a visit. The beds were very comfortable and the breakfast was outstanding!

The modern Canyonlands motel is located at the corner of Center and Main. In former days, the Canyonlands Café shared the site with the older incarnation of the motel:

The old Café was bulldozed in the early 90’s, and today ‘Pasta Jays’ sits on the corner. It was always busy during our stay, and you could smell the garlic a block away.

If you get a chance to visit Arches National Park, make sure you hike down Park Avenue around Sunset…It was a truly sublime experience.

The Windows Section of the park is quite striking as well…

When we left Moab, our journey through the West continued through Castle Valley and Dead Horse Point State Park:

We made it ‘off-road’ to Goblin Valley also:

Then we proceeded to tour through Capital Reef NP and scenic Highway 12:

We finished the trip with stops at Bryce Canyon followed by Zion National Park…

It was quite a journey, and one that I would recommend to any of you who get the chance. It was the type of adventure that sticks in the old memory banks for quite awhile.

Oh, and if you get tired on the drive home, how about the Sands in St. George?

Take care and thanks for visiting…

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Greetings From Modesto, California

I’m not sure who first came up with the “Greetings From…” postcard format, but through the years countless states and municipalities have authored their own series of these cards to promote the scenic wonders, tourist attractions, modern buildings or other civic landmarks in their local area.

My hometown issued at least 10 of these cards beginning in the mid 1950’s, and I’ve managed to collect the majority. Today, let’s see what’s become of a few of the subjects they covered.

First up, Downey High School at 1000 Coffee Road:

I had the good fortune to find the exact piece of ground where our photographer snapped the original pic:

Modesto High School (my alma mater) came first, but the modern education age came to Modesto in 1952, when Thomas Downey High School opened up. My father Edward was in the first graduating class, and my uncles Gary and Philip followed him down the hallowed halls…

Downey’s most famous alum is George Lucas, who brought us the Star Wars and Indiana Jones movies, as well as American Graffiti, which was based on his memories of being a teenager and cruising the streets of Modesto. His movies of late have been fairly terrible, but I digress…

The Auditorium has been receiving a little facelift over the past year. I was inside about ten years ago and it was like taking a time machine back to the 50’s. I hope it isn’t changed too much...

One last look at a Classic American High School:

Now let’s take a quick detour to the outskirts of town and play a quick 18 at Del Rio Country Club:

I would have enjoyed finding the location for the ‘Now’ shot, but the club has been renovated extensively over the years and I’m fairly certain that the building pictured no longer exists. Besides, I think that Security may have taken exception to my snooping had I tried…

For our final stop, let’s journey a bit south of Modesto, to the growing town of Ceres, where the former Memorial Hospital of Stanislaus County once stood:

The building and grounds are still there actually, but now serve in the role of drug rehabilitation inpatient/outpatient facilities, as well as offices and storage.

I was born in this hospital, and my parents no doubt came through the former main entrance to get checked in:

I bet Old Glory was blowing in the breeze on that cold December day in '68...

The former approach and exit...

A newer section of the hospital features some of that wonderful rock work that was frequently used to grace our homes, coffee shops, and professional offices back in simpler times:

It's funny some of the things you can remember from your childhood.

I can remember visiting my great aunt Lottie when she was a patient in this wing. She was there for a week or so, and the nice lady who shared her room passed away during her stay…

OK, let’s get out of here, before I get too creeped out:

On a brighter note, and just down the road from the old hospital, what I suspect to be the former Sequoia Super Market continues to serve the local populace as La Sequoia (still) Super Market:

To those of you that checked back more than once to see if I had posted again, I apologize for the long delay. Thanks for visiting and I hope you enjoyed the journey.

Take care and I’ll see you down the road…